Former FDC President Gen Mugisha Muntu says Hon Paul Mwiru’s victory against NRM’s Igeme Nabeta in Jinja East municipality by-election was a great day for the struggle for change.
“The people of Jinja Municipality spoke loud and clear. Their voice and determination were unquestionable,” Muntu said.
Faced with a choice between yet another rubber-stamping MP and one with a track-record of representing his constituent’s interests, they chose the latter, he went on.
“I congratulate Hon. Paul Mwiru over this hard-fought and well-deserved win.”
He said beyond the victory that sees pro-change forces in parliament increased by one, the by-election is also a shining example of what opposition can do when they come together.
“For a long time, we have been advocating for opposition forces to work together. On many occasions, the truth is that we have talked a good talk but not backed it up with action.”
In the Jinja by-elections however, opposition did just that.
“My brother Mao threw the full weight of DP support to an FDC contestant. Progressive Independents like my good friend Hon. Kyagulanyi actively campaigned for Hon. Mwiru. Even within the FDC, we put aside any differences of opinion or strategy and agreed to put the country’s interests before personal or even party interests.”
Muntu says the battle was fierce and the regime came at them with the full force of a dying horse; they beat up supporters, arrested many of them, disrupted meetings and brought Gen. Museveni on the campaign trail.
“Yet with every brutal encounter, our people’s resolve grew stronger. In the end, no amount of brute force or military artillery could drown out the voice of a determined people. Which is why this victory proves once again, that our decision to mobilise people for an electoral battle is far more effective than military rebellion.”
He added: “Even as we celebrate this victory, my hope is that we will continue to work to ensure that all our people that were wrongly arrested are released and that none of our gallant supporters is left behind or alone.”
Muntu said he will be resuming his nationwide consultations in the coming weeks, and hope to chart a conclusive way forward.
“But for today, let us celebrate our victory and thank God for our progress. It might be slower than most would rather, but it is growing stronger than the regime can gather. Ultimately, we the people will overcome.”